Fort Nikki…

Over the last few weeks I have been looking internally at a lot of different things. Situations and decisions have come up in my life that I have never really had to navigate before and two very dear friends have taken the time to point something quite painful, but necessary out to me.

Outwardly you wouldn’t know that I am a very private…introvert. After some thought and a little bit of reading, I am an introvert with extrovert tendencies. I can’t count the number of people on one hand that I trust and I don’t let many people in. This has slowly started to change with the blogging and the posting of my pictures on my Facebook, but those are small changes that I tell myself are good steps towards my goals. What the truth is, I have built a really great fort around me. I have made it up of sparkles, glitter, unicorns, and I am standing on the inside wanting to let people in, but so overcome with fear, at times, that it is easier to just keep the draw bridges up and the moat filled with alligators and sharks.

There are things in this life that I want to accomplish and I have it like I can accomplish them. Can I if I am held up in this fort all the time? Can I really accomplish them if I insist on doing it on my own? Can I really accomplish all the things I want to accomplish with the teeny tiny changes that I am making? Is that commitment? Is living this way making me happy? Bringing me joy?

I am very lucky and so grateful for the things I have in my life, my intention here is not to complain. I am just acknowledging that I tend to lean a lot towards the “I can do it myself” and “I don’t really need anyone’s help” way of operating. Not right or wrong, good or bad, but to accomplish some of the things I want to I won’t be able to do it alone and without people I trust. I acknowledge that I have always been a fan of the “safe and calculated” moves outside my comfort zone. Time for some bigger leaps! 

Respect For Food…

My new place setting 🙂
If there is one thing that has become blazingly obvious it is that I do not respect food and the ritual of eating. I would say that there are defiantly times that I eat on the run, eat standing at the counter, eat take out simply because it’s easy to grab after a long day. I can’t remember the last time that I really enjoyed a meal either. You know that type of enjoyment where you can describe the taste perfectly, you can remember the feel of the food on your tongue and you rave about it anyone that will listen.  I get so wrapped up in completing my “to do” list that stopping to take a breathe and enjoy my food is at the bottom of the list. I believe that this is also what has led to the habit of eating more food than I actually need to eat in one sitting. When you aren’t paying attention to the food and are focused on a different task I read that you can consume almost double what you need before your body registers as full leaving you with that “stuffed” feeling.
 
As I continue to read Marianne Williamson’s A Course in Weight Loss one of the exercises is to start a love affair with food. The relationship I have had with food has been one of obsession, not love. When I eat there is guilt and shame present so the last thing I want to do is take my time in eating it, or appreciate the flavors and tastes. So in an effort to undermine the thought patterns I have around food the exercise is to purchase a new, single place setting that you love and eat one meal a day at your kitchen table, taking your time, enjoying the food. No distractions, no cell phones, no newspapers, no books. You only use this place setting for this ritual, starting with one meal a day.
 
Well I did this exercise, once. I bought the beautiful place setting and eating dinner at the table with no distractions was really quite difficult and it took something. At first I felt ridiculous sitting at the table by myself, then I was annoyed and then I found myself trying to eat really quickly, so I stopped. I put down my fork and looked at the yummy, healthy meal I had prepared. I took a deep breathe, picked my fork back up and took a bite. Between each bite I put down my fork while I chewed. I was full before I even finished everything on my plate. One other thing I noticed was how good food tastes when you allow yourself to enjoy it! I didn’t cook with any added flavor other than what flavors came from the food and the herbs I used. It was amazing!
 
It is weird to think that I need to develop a love affair with food, because it feels like that is the exact opposite of what I need, but an obsession is different than a true love affair. As a result of this exercise I am taking on “clean eating” and eating dinner 5 nights a week at my kitchen table. Oh, if you aren’t sure on what “clean eating” is, stay tuned for my next blog post 🙂